This is the first issue of Eternal that has had a misstep.  Over the last ten issues eternal has introduced us to almost a dozen plots and with that many balls in the air it can be difficult to pace things properly.  This issue is the first to show use that it might be crumpling under the weight of all those narrative threads.

As opposed to focusing on one or two main plot points, this issue tries to check in with almost all of them.  When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.  We spend so little time with any of the characters that it feels like the writers are just checking in with them to let us know they have not forgotten them.  Reminding us of where everyone is and that we will be getting back to them soon.  When you are telling a story that is 52 issues long there is no excuse for this kind of overcrowding.  Some of the scenes in this issue could have been pushed back to other issues where their story was the main focus or deleted all together as they were irrelevant.

Not only is this issue overcrowded but the art takes a serious hit in quality.  Many of the panels are lacking in detail or perspective.  Characters are shown in silhouette a lot to lessen the time necessary to complete the pages.  Sometimes the backgrounds behind characters are nothing but blank spaces.  The manner in which eyes are drawn seems to imply that everyone is squinting and the haircut on Jason looks like Tim’s hair from the 90’s.  Without Bruce having called him Jason I would not have known it was him.  It would have been nice to have seen some slight costume changes in Catwoman’s attire between the flashback and the present.

After last issue, things were really building up to a nice confrontation but everything returns to the status quo and the Falcone/Catwoman interactions were very anti-climatic.  Her legs weren’t even tied up!  She could have easily gotten out of that situation without help.  After issue 7 I was pleased to see the portrayal of Pyg being handled so well but this issue returned to him sounding too normal.

Spoiler

  • If Falcone’s security can be bested by psychos with knives, why is the Penguin having such a hard time striking back against Falcone?
  • Would have been nice to see a scene where Forbes was excited about Falcone potentially getting killed since it means he might be able to take over.  I’m guessing that is why he was holding back his swat team and not because of some innocent hostage.  Only interested in saving Falcone when he realized Pyg wasn’t going to be able kill him due to Batman’s involvement.  I want to see Falcone get angry with Forbes again.
  • Is Pyg going to be put in Arkham this time or just put back on the streets.
  • On the Bat-givings poster we see an Owl.  How likely is it that the mystery villain is someone from the Court of Owls?
  • Bard counting Mississippi’s seemed ridiculous.  Wasn’t there another way they could have shown him being slow to respond.
  • Julia seems unusually hostile toward her father.  She must have been told some lies about him by whomever raised her in this iteration of the character.

Interesting Fact

When Cluemaster points at the computer screen we can see it reads, “Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It”

The thing that is wrong about this is that Lorem Ipsum actually looks like this:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.”

This being the standard text used when you want to have type that looks real but says nothing.  Therefore the fact that you can read the text on the computer screen about Lorem Ipsum means it is not Lorem Ipsum.

Recap

  • Gordon is in prison after causing fatal train accident. Who is Mr. Leone?
  • Batgirl going to South America thinking Gonzolo Dominguez is involved
  • Something supernatural is going on at Arkham involving Joker’s Daughter, Deacon Blackfire, and Dr. Phosphorus.
  • Batwing and Spectre sent to investigate this.  Gentleman Ghost makes a 3 second appearance.Cluemaster planning something and Stephanie is calling attention to it online.
  • Falcone is taking Gotham back from masks.  The GCPD is in his pocket with the help of Forbes.
  • Something about Nano-Bots.  Sergei from Batman #22 makes an appearance with Maxwell his monkey.
  • Potential romance between Vicki Vale and Jason Bard.
  • Julia Pennyworth is recovering at Wayne Manor.

Recommended If…

  • You need to connect the story from issue 9 to 11.
  • You need to know that someone Told Falcone that opportunities were going to be available in Gotham.  Although you will most likely see this discussed again.

Overall

One might say that this is a skippable chapter.  Unless of course you are a completionist.

SCORE: 3/10